Dear Gabby

gabbyTeen concerns explored in play at Balch Street Theatre in December

The Akron School for the Arts (Firestone High School) and Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture (CATAC) present play for families

 Akron, OH – The Akron School for the Arts and Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture (CATAC) present Dear Gabby: The Confessions of an Over-Achiever, a play that explores real teen concerns such as first love, peer pressure, rejection, relationships, drugs, cheating, and self-esteem. The play will be presented for two public performances on Friday, December 11 and Saturday, December 12, at 7 PM at Balch Street Theatre, 220 South Balch Street, Akron, OH 44302. The play features students from the Akron School for the Arts and is directed by Elynmarie Kazle. Tickets are $5 and can be reserved by calling 330-867-3299 or online at

Firestone High School Theatre Director Mark A. Zimmerman says that Dear Gabby is a play about being human. “It challenges you to explore what you have in common with others instead of being put off by the differences.” The play fits in well with CATAC’s mission to provide a forum for community engagement about social issues. Proceeds from the performance will be used to support CATAC’s continuing activities at Balch Street Theatre.

Elynmarie Kazle (director) is a director, stage and production manager, fundraiser, and designer of several successful mentoring programs. She has already directed Dear Gabby the Confessions of an Over-Achiever four times and was on-staff at the Santa Monica Playhouse at the time of its development. Her version of this play has been presented at the Akron Civic Theatre, Weathervane Playhouse, Miller South School for the Arts, and Firestone High School. Elynmarie has Stage Managed or Assistant Stage Managed for companies including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, LA Classical Ballet, Opera Columbus, Great Lakes Shakespeare, San Diego Opera, and has toured internationally. While establishing a West Coast presence for the Stage Directors and Choreographers, she facilitated the establishment of a choreographer’s contract for film and TV. She served 9 years on the West Coast Equity Stage Managers Committee and is a play responder for International Thespians. A United States Institute for Theatre Technology Fellow, she is a director-at-large for the Board as well as National Chair for the Stage Managers’ Association. She is a founder of both LA’s Ovation Awards and Akron’s Arts Alive Awards.

Firestone Theatre is the play-producing component of the award-winning Akron School for the Arts housed at Firestone High School.  Firestone Theatre offers basic and advanced training that follows the full range of theatrical discipline. Coursework includes a four-year track in either acting/performance or technical theatre/design. Firestone Theatre provides students with opportunities to appear onstage and contribute to the creative process via a backstage or technical role. A full season of plays and musicals is produced by collaborating with other disciplines of the arts. Firestone Theatre was recognized as an “Outstanding School” by the Educational Theatre Association in 2013.

Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture (CATAC) provides an artistic home for Akron’s New World Performance Laboratory (NWPL) and several other alternative theatre ensembles. CATAC’s 2014-2015 season is supported in part by the Akron Community Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. For more information about CATAC and activities at the Balch Street Theatre visit the website

Dear Gabby: The Confessions of an Over-Achiever

by Evelyn Rudie and Chris DeCarlo

Presented by Akron School for the Arts and Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture (CATAC)

Directed by Elynmarie Kazle



Friday, December 11, 2014, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 12, 2014, 7:00 p.m.

Balch Street Theatre

220 South Balch Street

Akron, Ohio 44302

Tickets: $5

Reserve: 330-867-3299 or